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The Politics of Refugee Repatriation

  • Start date: 01 October 2010
  • End date: 31 August 2011
  • Can refugees ever return "home"? 
  • How does residency impact on refugees' rights?
  • Can national citizenship offer inclusive universal rights?
  • Can the competing claims of different national groups ever be met within a single state?
  • Is "repatriation" more than just physical return?

Dr. Long's inter-disciplinary doctoral research (2006-2009) addressed these questions, examining the political complexities surrounding the international community's approach to refugee repatriation, and developed a new framework for refugee return that focused on the concept of autonomy. This model protects refugees' liberal rights within national repatriation, understanding return as a form of social contract making. This work drew upon political theory, archival materials and fieldwork data from both Guatemala and Rwanda.

As an ESRC post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Long will prepare these doctoral research findings for publication as a book, and will also publish several shorter papers, both in peer-reviewed academic journals and in more policy-orientated formats. The book will be the first full-length academic study of the political and normative frameworks influencing international understandings of repatriation.   

Dr. Long will also work closely with UNHCR and other international institutions and NGOs during this post-doctoral fellowship to ensure that the work has maximum possible impact upon current practices and policies used in refugee repatriation.